This network is marking its 90th anniversary as a broadcaster

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CBS is celebrating its 90th anniversary as a national radio broadcaster — a move that would eventually lead to CBS television.

  • In a tweet posted Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, the network points out that the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network signed on Jan. 19, 1929.
  • The company would not begin experimenting with television in 1931 but lost momentum with the medium, like the entire industry, during World War II.
  • CBS radio is infamous for its “The Mercury Theatre on the Air” broadcast a version of H.G. Well’s “The War of the Worlds” that sparked panic when listeners thought the performance was a real news report, despite three disclaimers stating otherwise.
  • The show following the format of “faux” news bulletins that were popular at the time — which is widely believed to have lead to the panic.
  • The result was the FCC banning the “faux” news bulletins during dramatic programming.
  • CBS’s radio properties would eventually become a division of CBS.
  • CBS sold its interest in radio in 2017, following NBC and ABC selling their radio divisions previously.